Thursday, November 3, 2011

Meet my new passion

I've decided to try out this new dynamic view style of blogger. Let me know your thoughts. I'm sure I'll be making lots of changes on it. Not sure if I like it or not yet.


Anyway, my passion. I've talked about it before but finally have my laptop to post some pictures. I'm talking about our new (to us) camper. She's a 19ft (I think) 1978 nomad. We've given her a name. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, a much loved member of our family - Caledonia.

For anyone who doesn't know, Caledonia is the latin name for Scotland. And like our home lands, this bonny beauty has a history, a story to tell. I don't know her full story but am intrigued by the mystery. What I do know is she's from 1978, she lived a lonesome life in the middle of a field for many years before a gentleman purchased her and began the process of stripping her down to give her some TLC but was unable to complete the job. So he put her on craigslist, without a photo attached. This is where we come in.

I had a couple of campers in mind that we were hoping to go see later in the week, but this one cost less and we decided to swing by and see her. And I instantly fell in love. I tried to act cool, cause you know, you don't want to be too enthusiastic a customer. But I was about wetting my pants. This was The One.

She was in a yard in a close neighborhood and the gentleman was very helpful in getting her onto the street. He had to dismantle his (friend's?) fence, chop off some tree branches and then Rene was very nervous to pull her out, so the gentleman took our keys and carefully, slowly backed up and moved forward; bit by bit. We even had to take down a mail box from the house across the street, which thankfully the old biddy who owned it was very gracious about (it helped that Rene did his sweet talk thang, play up the Scottish accent and bat his eyelids. He's gooooood).

Then we nervously drove her home. And then I took pics.

Here's the outside. Needs some repairs and a good clean. I also have big plans for an exterior make over. Watch this space.

Rusty, but purdy.

I know you're dying to see inside. Am I right? Ok....let's have a peek inside. Ready? Here she is.

This is the right hand side - The front end.

See the loft bed? It's in pretty good condition! Just needs some reinforcement and fixing up some damaged studs.

But that cabinet has to go.

As does this one

Much of the stripping has already been done. This saved us days and days of work.

Looking to your left from the door

We even got the toilet with it. And some free spare fiberglass.

There's a bathroom

The tub is in great condition.

The retro wallpaper has to go (sorry)

And some great storage in the bathroom that I have decided to keep, though I will make some modifications.

Little sun roof things (why can't I remember the word...?)

Such fun to explore and discover it's potential

I feel like Caledonia is a long lost best friend. We've been practically spending every spare minute working on this thing since we brought her home. It's been incredibly therapeutic for me. I'm pacing myself with it; it's like pilates or yoga - bending and moving, slowly and gently, painting this, moving that, cleaning this, fixing that, rub some glue in here, screw something in over there . It doesn't feel like exercise, it is a pleasure, but it has been so beneficial to me physically, with my recent health obstacles. It's definitely emotionally beneficial, watching your vision become realized at the work of your hand and the passion of your heart. It's even been spiritually beneficial; it's very symbolic of how God clears out all our junk and turns us into something beautiful. And he loves us as his creation, his handy work, his piece of art, his baby.

Rene and I have no experience in any of this. But since my recent experiences with Knock Off Wood I have learned a lot about building and it has developed my spacial awareness. So we're treating Caledonia as a blank canvas; clearing everything out and rebuilding it. I've made designs in sketchup and we're following those. Rene's dealing with the electrics and plumbing while I build the furniture and do paint work. We were both involved with replacing frames and adding studs in places we will need extra support. But I'll get to all that later. I'll show pics of our progress and get you all caught up with where we are at now.

If we had bought a new, arrogant, expensive, showy camper I'd just feel guilty every time we took it out, for wasting such money on leisure. I'm so thrilled that we decided to invest love and sweat instead of hard cash into this baby. I hope she will be with us for many years to come. But even if not, I am so enjoying this process that it's worth it even without an end result!

So there she is. A beauty in the making. You'll see.


Herb of Grace said...

So exciting!! It's kinda like our first house :) I can't wait to see the "after" pics!!

Kinsleys5 said...

You do have your work cut out for you! The real test will be make sure she's ready for her maiden voyage to New York. (wink)

Kel said...

Looking forward to seeing your updates! I can tell Rene is really excited!